Curried Squash Salad With Quinoa and Crispy Kale Photo by Jennifer Chase for The Washington Post
Curried Squash Salad With Quinoa and Crispy Kale (Serves 8-10)

Squash and crunchy kale channel the season in this Indian-influenced salad. Red quinoa gives this salad a hearty chew; for something lighter, use white quinoa. You'll need a large, flat-bottomed serving dish.

Adapted from Jesse Miller, executive chef of Bar Pilar in the District of Columbia.

For the quinoa
5 cups cooked red quinoa (from 2 cups dried)
1 tbs olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 small carrot, scrubbed well and diced
One 5cm piece peeled fresh ginger root, grated
Finely grated zest of 1 grapefruit
Finely grated zest of 1 orange

For the squash
1 medium kabocha or acorn squash (about 680g total)
Seeds from 2 green cardamom pods
1 tbs ground coriander
1 tbs ground turmeric
1 tbs ground cumin
2 tbs light brown sugar
2 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar

For the kale
1 bunch lacinato kale (450g), stemmed
1/3 cup vegetable oil

For the pecans
2 tbs unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 cup raw, unsalted pecan halves
Pinch kosher salt

For the dressing
340g (1 1/2 cups) mascarpone
1/4 cup red miso
1/4 cup water

For the quinoa
Place the quinoa in a large mixing bowl.
Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, stir in the onion, carrot and all but 1 teaspoon of the ginger; cook for about 4 minutes or just until the onion has softened slightly but the carrot is still firm. Stir in the citrus zests.
If serving right away, fold the vegetable mixture into the quinoa, then spread the mixture on the bottom of the serving dish. Otherwise, cool the vegetable mixture and store it separately from the quinoa.

For the squash
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. 
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and fibrous bits. 
Cut the squash into 2cm pieces.
Combine the cardamom seeds, coriander, turmeric, cumin, brown sugar and the remaining teaspoon of grated ginger in a mixing bowl. 
Whisk in the oil and vinegar until the brown sugar dissolves. 
Add the squash and toss until evenly coated. 
Use tongs to transfer the squash pieces to the baking sheet, spacing them well apart; discard any leftover oil-and-vinegar mixture. 
Roast for about 30 minutes or until lightly caramelized.
If serving right away, arrange the squash pieces atop the quinoa mixture; otherwise, cool, cover and refrigerate. You'll be using the baking sheet again, as is.

For the kale
Reduce the oven temperature to 150 degrees.
Rinse the kale and pat dry with paper towels. 
Cut into bite-size pieces and spread them on the baking sheet, then drizzle with the oil and toss to coat. 
Separate the leaves on the sheet so they'll crisp evenly. Bake for 5 minutes, then use tongs to turn the kale over. 
Bake for 5 minutes or until crisped. Let the leaves cool.

For the pecans
Melt the butter in a small, ovenproof saute pan over medium-low heat, taking care to let it just turn brown but not burn.
Meanwhile, remove the rosemary and thyme leaves from the sprigs, pressing their leaves slightly between your fingers to release their oils. 
Add to the brown butter and cook for 30 seconds, then add the pecans and salt. 
Turn off the heat; toss the pecans to coat evenly.

For the dressing
Whisk together the mascarpone and red miso in a bowl. Add the water and whisk until well incorporated.
When ready to serve, layer the crisped kale on top of the squash. 
Top with the buttered pecans, then drizzle with half the miso-mascarpone dressing; pass the remaining dressing at the table. 

The Washington Post